Feb 2, 2010

Current state of the health care debate

by Laura Foster

The Democrat’s plan for health care reform has been crippled, and balance has returned to the Senate as a result of the recent election of Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown.

The election “stripped Democrats of their 60-seat supermajority, giving Republicans enough votes to block any measure in the chamber,” according to a CNN article.

The power to filibuster has been returned to the Republican Party, enabling them to resist a Democrat-dominated health care bill. As a result, the political left will be forced to compromise if it hopes to pass any reform.

“The Senate Bill has too many unpopular provisions to win approval in the House if it is not accompanied by a package of changes,” said House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, according to CNN.
In a means to pass the bill, Democrats are working on a plan to be passed in the House. The plan includes a package of changes reflecting compromise between the two chambers, CNN reports.
Although the Democratic Party claims to be seeking compromise, the Republican Party has shown little interest in forming an agreement with the Democrats’ “Washington-controlled system of government-run health care,” according to CNN.

While Washington seems gridlocked, the health care issue continues to plague many Americans. Due to rising medical costs, poor people in America are unable to afford health insurance. In the debate over health care reform, a large portion of the blame has been placed on insurance companies and their policies, according to CNN.

“We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people,” President Barack Obama said, according to CNN. “We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up.”

A major selling point to revamping America’s health care system is that it would no longer allow insurance companies the right to deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

“There are great concerns about the health insurance system and the kind of power that the insurance people have over people to deny care, to raise rates and so on,” White House strategist David Axelrod said, according to CNN.

But health insurance is just a portion of the health care reform puzzle and in order to provide beneficial coverage to more people, the system must be fixed. But nothing is free.

The proposed health care reform plan will cost an estimated $1 trillion. If passed, the health care reform plan will become an economic burden for the U.S. tax dollars will pay for everything included in the bill.

“Any bill must protect as inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship, not add to the national debt, reject new mandates, ban new public health care assistance for undocumented immigrants and protect taxpayers from compulsory funding of abortion,” Republicans said, according to CNN.

Not only will tax dollars cover the cost of the Senate proposed health care system but also fund all abortions in the United States. The bill should not, and cannot be passed the way it is. Major adjustments must be made for both the House and Senate to agree on an adequate and beneficial bill.

“If it comes down to the Senate Bill or nothing, I think we’re going to end up with nothing,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch, according to CNN.

The health care reform plan has been a rushed process since the original proposal date. But with the Republicans’ new leverage in the Senate, it is time for both sides to sit down and seriously think about fixing our current system. Simply providing more affordable coverage to more Americans may sound like a good concept. But if we are just giving them access to a broken system, then health care reform will have accomplished nothing.

Contact Laura Foster at

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